AN ex-soldier who was denied permission to build a house on his family’s farmland has lodged a complaint against a councillor who argued against the plan.

Gordon Pollock, who had to leave the Army after he was shot while serving in Afghanistan, returned to his family home at Mossneuk Farm, in Neilston, last year.

He took up a full-time position in the business, owned by his parents Archie and Myra.

However, his bid to build a property some distance from the existing farmhouse as part of an effort to expand the business was knocked back by planning chiefs.

Councillor Stewart Miller, who is also a farm owner, put forward a motion to refuse the application at last month’s planning committee meeting, describing it as “rubbish.”

However, Mr Pollock has now appealed against the decision and has also sent a complaint to East Renfrewshire Council, accusing Cllr Miller of having an undeclared conflict of interest.

Mr Pollock said: “I was quite shocked by the aggression shown towards both the application and my family by Councillor Miller, who described the material submitted in support of it as rubbish, claiming at one point that the Scottish Agricultural College would write anything if they were paid to do so.

“I found such comments highly unprofessional, entirely without foundation and unbefitting of an elected member.”

Referring to Andy and Isabel Meikle, owners of a neighbouring farm, who objected to the application, he added: “I have been advised by a number of parties, who are prepared to testify, that Councillor Miller and Andy Meikle are friends.

“In the circumstances described, Councillor Miller should, in my view, have declared a conflict of interest in this application and not participated in proceedings.”

However, when approached by the Barrhead News, Cllr Miller emphatically denied any conflict of interest.

He said: “I have no idea who the objectors are when we consider an application. They’re not listed in the council papers.

“I’ve met Andy Meikle a couple of times but we’re hardly friends. I know a lot of folk. Just because I know someone, they want me to take a back seat?

“The Pollocks are looking for excuses. The application they submitted was all wrong in more or less every respect.

“The house they want to build is in completely the wrong place. If he wants to be a full-time farmer, then build a house on the farm – I’d welcome it – but what’s the point in having a planning system if people can just build a house wherever they like, in the middle of the countryside?

“House building happens where the local authority wants it, not where you feel like it.”